Welcome to our periodic Worthy of Note!
SREB Educational Technology Cooperative
Worthy of Note: June 23, 2014

Prepared by June Weis
Find archives of Worthy of Note here. Sign up for our e-mailing lists there, too.



SREB ETC Facebook Page
We are reviving the ETC Facebook Page and expect to post important messages to you. But we want it to be more than that — it can become a great link to an ETC Digital Forum. ETC needs a place for e-discussions and info distribution that is familiar and open to all. Let us hear from you about the important things happening where you are.
This is a typical message that will appear on the new Facebook page: Mike Abbiatti posted this message about Oklahoma Career Tech on June 14.
After Action Report (AAR) — Oklahoma CAREER TECH Symposium — Kudos to Kerry Eades and his Career Tech/OSU colleagues in Oklahoma for launching the inaugural OSU-CAREER TECH DIGITAL FORUM: EDUCATING FOR GLOBAL COMPETITIVENESS. Featured speakers were national experts Tom Vander Ark and David Cillay. The one-day meeting was a clear statement for the validity of our 10 Issues Process. Specific Issues mentioned were the lack of a sustainable broadband strategy, professional development for both content and technical staff, collaboration across the K-20 community, the need for a flexible and dynamic policy environment, competency-based curriculum requirements, and using real-world data to plan for selection, purchase and deployment of emerging technologies. I encourage everyone in the ETC family to explore the tremendous expertise and resource base of Career Tech as we move forward in our quest to continuously improve our skillset in leveraging technology and innovation for our K-20 students. The best is yet to come!!
Online Teaching: Literacy Ready, Math Ready Courses on iTunes U
Both SREB Readiness Courses are now available -- free of charge to any school -- for online teaching via SREB on iTunes. The Math Ready and Literacy Ready courses are also searchable, by name, on the iTunes U apps for desktop and mobile devices. Watch for training videos and more teaching resources here in the coming months.
SREB on iTunes U
SREB Readiness Courses
AC Pathways: How States Are Making It Real
SREB, May 15, 2014
Students say SREB Advanced Career pathways are helping them connect reading, writing and math to hands-on projects and careers outside the school walls. Teachers become facilitators rather than lecturers and watch their students take responsibility for their learning. Read about schools in West Virginia, South Carolina, Arkansas and Alabama that are implementing AC pathways in areas such as aeronautics engineering and clean energy technology.



Data: the Link Between Higher Education and the Workforce We Need
William A. Sederburg, Barry Stern, Governing, June 2, 2014
Governors have a major role to play in integrating two policy and regulatory systems that need to work together.
What’s a Culture of Data, and how can schools get one?
Jamie McQuiggan, eSchool News, June 12, 2014
Schools are overflowing with data—attendance records, achievement data, even logs from mobile devices—and the question remains, how can education systems create a culture that uses data to make decisions?
Central to the creation of a Culture of Data are three key structures: Technology, Process, and Leadership. All are essential to support the shift to a data-centric culture in education.
Included here are six key steps in forming a culture of strong data use to improve education.
Dalton State College Automates Fact Book with Online Dashboard
Leila Meyer, Campus Technology, May 22, 2014
Dalton State College in Georgia has replaced its manual Fact Book development process with an automated dashboard that draws data directly from the student information system and delivers information on demand through an online interface.



Ark. Governor Pushes to Add K-12 Schools to State Broadband Network
Benjamin Herold, Education Week, June 20, 2014
Troubled by many Arkansas students' lack of access to high-speed Internet connections, Gov. Mike Beebe is calling for the state's public schools to be granted the right to access an existing statewide broadband network serving higher education institutions.
Enacting that recommendation would require overturning a state law, known as Act 1050, that currently forbids K-12 schools from plugging into the Arkansas Research and Education Optical Network, or ARE-ON. Some in the state have criticized that statute as serving the interests of telecommunications companies at the expense of children.

Cities Promote 'Innovation Districts' for Economic Development
Kevin Tidmarsh, Governing, June 10, 2014
Instead of isolated corporate campuses like Silicon Valley, some places are trying to promote “innovation districts” to bring industry back. Can it work?
Mike Abbaitti: Here's what happens when high speed broadband serves as a common resource for schools, businesses, and the community-at-large. The end result can be a very productive collaboratory that has the power to revitalize rural communities, benefit municipalities, and have a very positive impact on overall economic development. Success requires ending the small-minded Range War in favor of real leadership and shared resources. In this case, Chattanooga decided to deploy its own fiber infrastructure. In Arkansas we already have a significant fiber plant, what we lack is collective intent to work together for the benefit of all citizens, not just those who happen to live in metropolitan areas. Once again, where you live should not determine your quality of life in the Natural State.
Virginia Pilot Tackles School Broadband Challenges
Tanya Roscorla, Center for Digital Education, June 5, 2014
Virginia schools are paying too much for broadband access and don't have enough of it. That's why the nonprofit EducationSuperHighway decided to work with the state on a broadband pricing pilot announced Tuesday, June 3. This is the first of two pilots with U.S. states, the second of which will be announced later this summer.
After 30 states including Virginia took the nonprofit's national school broadband speed test, the commonwealth realized it needed to make some progress in this area.


Digital Standards

4 Research Universities Fight for Open Digital Standards
Tanya Roscorla, Center for Digital Education, June 11, 2014
Some of the same universities that a decade ago started work on the Sakai project, a community that's developing a common collaboration and learning environment, are taking their efforts to the next level with a new consortium in Internet2 that's designed to free digital content and data from their single cell prison.
The Unizin consortium launched on Tuesday, June 10, with four founding members: Indiana University, University of Michigan, University of Florida and Colorado State University. Their mission is to put the collective weight of like-minded universities behind the open standards movement so that universities can control their digital content and data, and make sure that technology doesn't get in the way of teaching and learning.


Competency Education

Finding Your Way With a Roadmap
Chris Sturgis, Competency Works, June 13, 2014  
Competency education will be a lot easier to manage if there are adequate management information systems. Blended learning can be structured to allow students to move ahead to more advanced studies. Well-structured adaptive software can really give a boost to students who need some help building skills at the levels of recall and comprehension. (See Susan Patrick’s blog on the different characteristics of adaptability).
Getting a solid picture of the technological landscape isn’t easy to do. The Roadmap for Competency-based Systems: Leveraging Next Generation Technologies is designed to do just that – identify the key questions and steps to figure out how technology can help you better implement competency education as well as generate the greatest benefits. My guess is that you will find the glossary really helpful as well. Thanks to Council of Chief State School Officers and 2 Revolutions for developing this tool.


Education SuperHighway

The Connectivity Gap
Education SuperHighway
72% of K-12 schools have insufficient Internet access. Four main gaps prevent struggling K-12 schools from effectively upgrading.
Analysis of Costs to Upgrade and Maintain Robust Local Area Networks for all K12 Public Schools 
CoSN and Education Super Highway
These two agencies identify key equipment and services typically used to deploy and maintain a robust LAN, Wi-Fi, and core WAN network and estimates the aggregate cost of the equipment and services for America’s K-12 public schools.


Copyright and Digital Content

3 must-knows about teachers and copyright 
Meris Stansbury, eSchool News, May 28, 2014
This report answers the question ‘Who owns teacher-created digital content?’


Online Learning

Why Do Some Students Struggle Online?
Di Xu | CCRC Postdoctoral Research Associate, Teachers College Columbia University, evolllution, June 14, 2014
In a recent article on semester-length online coursework, I wrote about some recent research findings that many community college students perform more poorly in online than face-to-face courses. Some readers wondered what makes the particular groups mentioned (males, ethnic minorities and those with lower GPAs) less likely to succeed in online courses. This follow-up article discusses what challenges these specific groups face in the online context, and how those challenges might be addressed with specific strategies in online programming.
Five Things Online Students Want from Faculty
Rob Kelly in Online Education, Faculty Focus, May 30, 2014
Through regular student feedback, Jennifer Luzar, associate professor of language arts at Northwood University, has compiled the following things students want in their online courses and ways that she has adapted her instruction accordingly.
6 Amazing Statistics on Learning Management Systems Infographic
eLearning Infographics, June 1, 2014
The 6 Amazing Statistics on Learning Management Systems Infographic provides interesting LMS facts and stats.


“Nano Degree”

Udacity-AT&T ‘NanoDegree’ Offers an Entry-Level Approach to College
Eduardo Porter, New York Times, June 17, 2014
Could an online degree earned in six to 12 months bring a revolution to higher education? This week, AT&T and Udacity, the online education company founded by the Stanford professor and former Google engineering whiz Sebastian Thrun, announced something meant to be very small: the “NanoDegree.”



Open Educational Resources (OER) - A Video Primer
Rory McGreal, Contact North/Contact Nord
Why invest lots of time, effort and energy creating new course materials from scratch when quality, freely available resources may already exist? Why not adapt and use these resources, known as Open Educational Resources (OER)?
Dr. Rory McGreal, Contact North | Contact Nord Research Associate and the UNESCO/Commonwealth of Learning Chair in Open Educational Resources shares his expertise in a series of 10 short, informative videos that address the what, why, where, and how of OER. Through the videos, Rory guides you to effectively find and make use of OER for more time- and cost-effective course development.
In addition to practical information on OER, Rory also addresses issues of copyright, fair dealing, and licensing for freely available materials.
Why Aren’t More Schools Using Free, Open Tools?
Katrina Schwartz, blog, Mind/Shift, June 9, 2014
Schools have many reasons for wanting to systematize the technology in schools: to ensure equity for all students, the ability of IT department to support the devices, and to comply with federal laws. Most schools are working with limited technology budgets and IT directors are trying to decide how to get the most out of those limited dollars. At the same time, they’re being bombarded by tech vendors, feeling pressure to keep up with new changes.
Though all these reasons make sense in context, this focus on controlling devices may also be undermining the goal of helping students to become independent learners. Are schools missing a key element of the technology revolution in schools, a moment for real change, by locking down computing systems and by default ensuring students remain tech-users, not creators?


Kahn Academy

How Are Teachers and Students Using Khan Academy?
Katrina Schwartz, blog, Mind/Shift, May 6, 2014
In 2006, Sal Khan started making YouTube videos meant to help his nieces with their math homework. Since then, Khan’s video collection has grown into a huge repository of tutorials used in and out of classrooms with a large team working behind the scenes to tailor tools and train teachers. The website now offers 5,500 instructional videos, 3,500 of which teach math concepts. There are 100,000 practice problems on the site, and last year, those problems were tackled more than 7 million times.
To find out more how these videos are being used, the Gates Foundation, one of Khan’s biggest funders, commissioned an SRI International study on what works and what barriers exist to effective implementation. Researchers conducted a two-year study of 70 teachers in 20 California schools between 2011-2013, choosing sites that serve mostly low-income students.
Participating schools included both public and charter schools and spanned the K-12 range.


Mobile Devices

Reading Beyond the Headlines: A look at mobile devices
John Watson, Keeping Pace, June 3, 2014
The headline is: Most Districts Have Deployed Mobile Tech, Want More. As the second paragraph explains, “the number of districts reporting that at least one-quarter of their schools had deployed mobile devices had risen to 71 percent, up from 60 percent in 2013. Forty-four percent of districts surveyed said that approximately 75 percent of their schools had deployed mobile technology.”
To its credit, the end of the article notes “The report was created using the responses from 332 educators to an online survey,” and the report discusses the research methods in its opening pages, and provides respondent numbers for each question of the survey.
The Case for Banning Laptops in the Classroom
Dan Rockmore, The New Yorker, June 6, 2014
A colleague of mine in the department of computer science at Dartmouth recently sent e-mail to all of us on the faculty. The subject line read: “Ban computers in the classroom?” The note that followed was one sentence long: “I finally saw the light today and propose we ban the use of laptops in class.”
While the sentiment in my colleague’s e-mail was familiar, the source was surprising: it came from someone teaching a programming class, where computers are absolutely integral to learning and teaching. Surprise turned to something approaching shock when, in successive e-mails, I saw that his opinion was shared by many others in the department
3 Universities Earn Accolades for Tech Innovation
Megan O’Neil, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 4, 2014
Boundary-pushing projects involving mobile computing and in-memory analytics have landed three universities on the 2014 CIO 100 list, which recognizes organizations that leverage information technology in innovative ways.
Georgetown University, Lynn University, and the University of Kentucky were the higher-education institutions among the awardees, made public this week by IDG Enterprise, a media company that produces publications including CIO and Computerworld magazines.
23 Things Every Teacher Should Be Able To Do With An iPad
TeachThought Staff, Teach Thought, April 5, 2013
Using an iPad is simple due to its intuitive interface, elegant touch interface, and user-friendly operating system.
We have listed 23 different tasks a teacher should be able to perform with their iPad. We’ve tried to focus on the basics, along with some typical tasks a teacher may be required to complete. We’ve also (roughly) arranged them from less complicated to more complicated, so consider yourself an unofficial iPad “Basic Hacker” if you can get to the bottom. For more complex iPad tasks and functions, we’re doing a follow-up post. Stay tuned!


Needed Skills

The 8 Skills Students Must Have For The Future
Katie Lepi, Edudemic, June 7, 2014
Note from June Weis: See if you agree with this list. I think one very important skill is missing: Information Literacy (critical thinking skills).
This year’s “The Learning Curve” report from Pearson takes a look at education across the globe. One of the main things the report does is rank the world’s educational systems (which we’ll talk about in a different post). What I find even more interesting is the focus on what skills current students need to meet the ever-changing needs of the global market, and some potential ways to address shortcomings in our collective educational systems.



8 Things You Should Know About MOOCs
Jonah Newman and Soo Oh, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 13, 2014
Before Harvard and MIT released data last month on their first 16 edX MOOCs, we already knew a few things: Millions of people register for massive open online courses, though far fewer receive certificates of completion. Most MOOC participants already have a college degree, even those outside the United States. But there was a lot we didn’t know, especially about who took different types of MOOCs and how much of the course content they viewed. This information may be valuable to those looking to design and lead successful MOOCs. Here’s what we’ve learned from this first data release covering more than half a million students.
Canvas Catalog: New Platform to House Online Courses
Getting Smart, Getting Smart Staff, Instructure, May 30, 2014
MOOCs continue to gain popularity and are being offered by more and more institutions, leaving them with the question of where best to house their courses. Up until now, most have lived on broad, common platforms that are really more known to provide “MOOCs,” not necessarily the specific institution providing the content. With the launch of the new Canvas Catalog, institutions will now have the chance to house their MOOCs in one digital space, while still keeping the focus on the institution itself, instead of the platform.


Blended Learning

What does a blended classroom look like?
John Watson, Keeping Pace, June 10, 2014
What does a blended classroom look like? There is no simple answer to that question, because there are so many flavors of blended learning, so many ways that technology can be deployed, and so many ways that classrooms using blended learning can be configured. In the last couple of weeks I’ve heard two accounts of how a good blended classroom might appear. He quotes Susan Patrick (iNACOL) and Stacy Hawthorne, an Evergreen College colleague.


U.S. DOE “Web Tables”

A Response to New NCES Report on Distance Education
Phil Hill and Russ Poulin, cross-posted to e-Literate blog.
The U.S. Department of Education recently released “Web Tables” containing results from their IPEDS Fall Enrollment 2012 survey, which was the first in over a decade to include institutional enrollment counts for distance education students. The tables are very helpful and provide some additional depth in examining these enrollments. They also provide a great baseline on which we can base analyses of distance ed growth in the future.
Phil Hill of the e-Literate blog and I co-wrote a short analysis of the Web Tables released by the Department. The Department released the data previously. Both Phil and us conducted previous analyses of these data and were curious to see what these new Tables would tell use. We share our thoughts here.


Active Learning

“Active learning” improves student outcomes in post-secondary STEM courses
John Watson, Keeping Pace, June 12, 2014
A recent meta-analysis published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that reviewed 225 studies shows that “active learning” — instruction based on activities other than instructor lectures — significantly improves outcomes in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics undergraduate courses. The study revealed that “average examination scores improved by about 6% in active learning sections, and that students in classes with traditional lecturing were 1.5 times more likely to fail than were students in classes with active learning.”
“Active learning” does not equal blended learning; in fact the threshold for what the authors consider “active” seems quite low, and includes “approaches as diverse as occasional group problem-solving, worksheets or tutorials completed during class, use of personal response systems with or without peer instruction, and studio or workshop course designs.”


Personalized Learning

Personalized learning versus individualized learning
John Watson, Keeping Pace, June 6, 2014
Up until recently I was guilty of using the terms “personalized learning” and “individualized learning” as if they were the same thing. Although I had suspected that some people made a distinction between the two, I hadn’t delved into the difference. With the increasing use of “personalization” as a term that augments or replaces “blended learning,” the existence of a generally agreed upon definition is necessary, and the distinction between individualized and personalized becomes increasingly important.


IT Challenges

Deep Freeze for Education
THE Journal, May 13, 2014
Computers and laptops are extensively used in today's educational system, which have also significantly increased workload for IT administrators. This brief white paper offers recommendations to the top three IT challenges faced by the IT admins in education.
  • Students messing up lab computers?
  • Tackling computers across multi-location campuses?
  • Dealing with the rising cost of IT support?
College Goes Green with VMware and Veeam
Campus Technology, May 8, 2014
The Warrington College IT team faced a similar challenge to what many are experience in the public sector – increased demand for IT service and support under constrained resources and funding. Read this whitepaper to learn how Nick Smeltzer, Director of IT services for Warrington Collegiate, and his colleagues leveraged a virtualized environment to conserve energy, save money and supply reliable disaster recovery.
Tech Essentials for Testing Success
Ready or not, testing for the State Standards is about to become a reality for schools in 45 states, Washington, D.C., and four US territories. That means a switch to online testing beginning the spring of 2015. For many districts, it’s a move that has left school and IT administrators in a quandary as to what to do.
The new computer-based testing will be administered by two state-led consortia, Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. In most cases, schools will need to upgrade their IT to meet the new requirements and recommendations.
Here’s a quick look at the Top 5 Tech Essentials to help schools better understand the scope of the upgrade and prep for the coming tests.


High School Graduation Rates

New report shows high school graduation rate at an all-time high
Jim Hull, The Edifier, June 5, 2014
EdWeek’s annual Diplomas Count report shows that the U.S. high school on-time graduation rate has hit an all-time high with 81 percent of students graduating within four-years of entering high school.


Cloud Computing

The Era of Cloud Computing
Quentin Hardy, BITS, New York Times, June 11, 2014
For the half-century that computers have been part of the workplace, companies have bought their own machines for corporate data centers. But that may be about to change. Industry analysts at IDC figure that if largely cloud-based things like mobile apps, big data, and social media are counted, over the next six years almost 90 percent of new spending on Internet and communications technologies, a $5 trillion global business, will be on cloud-based technology.


FCC and Net Neutrality

New 'Net Neutrality' Bill Good Step, But Not Enough, say Internet Advocates
Lauren McCauley, Common Dreams, June 17, 2014
Open Internet groups continue to push for reclassification of broadband to deter 'pay-for-play' web. A new bill banning "fast lanes" on the Internet was unveiled in both the Senate and House on Tuesday, June 10th.
FCC Send Us Your Comments
To file a comment of up to several paragraphs, click on one of the proceedings listed below. To file a longer comment as an attachment, click on submit a filing and include the docket number of the proceeding both on the form and on the attachment. If the proceeding you are looking for is not listed, you can go to ECFS and enter the proceeding number.
Overwhelmingly the latest comments have been related to Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet. (128386 in the last 30 days)  Check out this article: Following John Oliver net neutrality rant, FCC site completely overloaded with 22,000 comments.  Though no direct causation can be proved, the FCC comments system went down after Oliver's impassioned monologue.


Common Core

The Fight Over New Standards (video 4:43)
Reem Mahkoul, New York Times, June 14, 2014
Backlash reigns in schools nationwide after the introduction of Common Core standards. Critics say they are overly difficult, but others say they challenge students to become better thinkers. (Article: Common Core, in 9-Year-Old Eyes)
Nothing Common About Common Core
Chip O’Brien, Statesman Journal, May 22, 2014
While standards for other subjects are still pending, the English Language Arts/Literacy and Math are finished and have been presented to states for potential adoption. So far, 44 states have implemented Common Core, and five have rejected them. Reasons for rejection range from the increased costs of new textbooks to dismissal of federal involvement in education.



Product Review: Been for Education
David Kapuler, Tech & Learning, May 20, 2014
Been for Education is a new site that allows educators to safely browse and curate the web with their students for collaboratively learning.


Just Interesting

People make choices. Choices make history
Facing History and Ourselves provides ideas, methods, and tools that support the practical needs, and the spirits, of educators worldwide who share the goal of creating a better, more informed, and more thoughtful society.



The emperor of “disruption theory” is wearing no clothes 
Andrew Leonard, Salon, June 16, 2014
The New Yorker finds fault with Clayton Christensen, guru of Silicon Valley. The tech moguls are not pleased. A critique to his new book, The Innovator’s Dilemma,” appeared in The New Yorker. This is a response to his new book and that article.


Upcoming Meetings and Webcasts

ISTE 2014
Managing BYOD and 1-to-1 Initiatives at Your School
Webcast (June 25)
2014 Florida Virtual Campus Symposium:
Creating a Roadmap for Online Student Success 
St. Petersburg College, Seminole, FL
July 23, 2014 and July 24, 2014
Copyright © 2014 Southern Regional Education Board, All rights reserved.
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp